Mathematics for a toddler involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers. Count all the time: climbing the stairs, playing hide and seek, cars, trees, food …. anything! Count to 20 and then beyond. Your child isn’t going to be able to count if they aren’t hearing the numbers.

When working with numbers, first of all concentrate on numbers 1-5. Have the numbers on flashcards and see if your child recognises them in and out of order. Once you think they are secure with numbers 1-5, move them on to numbers 6 – 10.

Try to encourage one to one correspondence – i.e. use one number for each object, count the objects systematically (in a line) and stop counting when they reach the final object. This is tricky and they always want to carry on counting or do two numbers for one object!

Some of you will be working and others will have children of different ages, which makes a timetabled math lesson tricky. Not a problem – maths can be done anytime and anywhere. When you are eating, questions such as “who has the most food on their plate?” “How many carrots can you count?” When brushing their teeth, “whose toothbrush is the longest?” “Whose toothbrush is the lightest?” When in the kitchen, “Which jar is full?” “Which jar is empty?” When in their bedroom, “How many cars can you count?” “Is there any furniture in this room that is taller than you?”

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